Throughout the day I experienced continual impulses to stop or delay Doing the Work of a Human Being. I had frequent urges to inject little bits of entertainment or diversion in the middle of my Work, or rationalize doing something a little more fun but which made a little less sense, such as organizing my recipes after lunch instead of going right into cleaning out the fridge as planned.
I feel this deep in my bones. Procrastinating is something I default to very frequently. Instead of finishing that book, I watch that one cooking video on YouTube. Instead of learning Japanese, I refresh my RSS reader a thousand times. Instead of finishing this blog post, I check my Instagram feed.1
David tries to solve this for himself:
For 30 days I'm going to practice Stoicism as seriously as I can, and that means dropping certain familiar, pleasure-focused ways of spending time — namely watching movies and TV shows by myself, eating or drinking things just for the pleasure of it, and using my electronic devices for non-utilitarian reasons. I also won't put on "background" entertainment like podcasts while I do other things.
I will still do leisure activities with other people. Walks, visits, meals, board games, sports, and even the odd movie. I want entertainment to be a social thing, if anything, not just a way for me to pass time comfortably.
You can follow his journey on his logbook.
I like the idea a lot, so much that I'm considering stealing it and trying it myself.
I just literally caught myself doing this. ↩